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Aug 1, 2021

We close the gap between our previous explorations of the National Hockey League's former California Golden Seals and Minnesota North Stars with a deep dive into the two-year curiosity that bridged between them - the unforgettably forgettable Cleveland Barons.
Episode 111 guest and WKKY-FM/Geneva (OH) radio jock Gary Webster ("The NHL's Mistake By the Lake: A History of the Cleveland Barons") returns the 'cast - this time to go deep into the baffling prelude, chaotic operations, and historically debatable termination/relocation of a franchise that was seemingly snakebitten even before its hasty arrival in Northeastern Ohio in the summer of 1976.
Named for a decades-old, nine-time minor league AHL championship-winning team that preceded it until 1973 - which itself had been replaced by the struggling "major league" Crusaders of the wobbly World Hockey Association - the Barons came close to folding in both of its two NHL seasons, despite the frantic efforts of two separate ownership groups, a brand-new state-of-the-art arena, and at least one league bailout.
Along the way, attendance was meager, media coverage was scant, and on-ice play was woeful - the perfect ingredients for an episode sure to please!